Picked it up, couldn't put it down. Carey definitely has a way of drawing you into the world her characters roam around in. While there weren't too many visual details on what the town looked like, Carey established more than enough emotional links to entrench the reader into the plight of the denizens of Outpost. I was particularly charmed by the tightly-knit group of the Santitas -- normally when introduced to multiple characters all at once, it takes me a while to distinguish each one, but each child stood out immediately to me.
Santa Olivia had all that I ask for in a book : interesting plot, well developed characters, a sweet sort of romance, and a whole lot of heart.